Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 64, Issue 7, pp 1921–1929 | Cite as

Spatial distribution, source identification and affecting factors of heavy metals contamination in urban–suburban soils of Lishui city, China

  • Hongyan Wang
  • Shenggao LuEmail author
Original Article


An investigation on spatial distribution, possible pollution sources, and affecting factors of heavy metals in the urban–suburban soils of Lishui city (China) was conducted using geographic information system (GIS) technique and multivariate statistics. The results indicated that the topsoils in urban and suburban areas were enriched with metals, such as Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. Spatial distribution maps of heavy metal contents, based on geostatistical analysis and GIS mapping, indicated that Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn had similar patterns of spatial distribution. Their hot-spot areas were mainly concentrated in the densely populated old urban area of the city. Multivariate statistical analysis (correlation analysis, principal component analysis, and clustering analysis) showed distinctly different associations among the studied metals, suggesting that Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cd, and Zn had anthropogenic sources, whereas Co and V were associated with parent materials and therefore had natural sources. The Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn contents were positively correlated with soil organic matter, pH, and sand content (p < 0.01). It is concluded that GIS and multivariate statistical methods can be used to identify hot-spot areas and potential sources of heavy metals, and assess soil environment quality in urban–suburban areas.


Heavy metals Geostatistics Multivariate statistical analysis Urban soils GIS 



This project was supported by the National Key Technologies R&D Program of China (2008BADA7B06) and Science and Technology Department of Zhejiang Province (2007C23057). Opinions in the paper do not constitute an endorsement or approval by the funding agencies and only reflect the personal research views of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Subtropical Soil and Plant Nutrition, Key Laboratory of Environment Remediation and Ecological Health, Ministry of EducationZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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